Hard to forget: The long-lasting impact of war on mental health


Year: 2016 HiCN Working Paper No. 206

This paper examines the impact of war trauma experienced during the 1992-1995 Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict on individual mental health. By using a medically-validated depression scale and an instrumental-variable approach we show that, six years after the conflict, traumatised individuals are significantly more likely to be at risk of depression. Results are robust to a number of sensitivity checks accounting for individual geographical mobility and different treatment intensities, and suggest that the negative effects of war trauma are not mainly mediated by physical health problems. Moreover, war trauma has sizeable negative effects on individual labour market outcomes. 

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